We live in a world where, thanks to innovation in engineering and technology, people all over the globe have access to safe and reliable electricity, gas, water, and internet. Our access to utilities is so reliable that we have become fully dependent on it – and any disruptions cause major problems to our everyday lives.
As climate change continues to have impact on weather systems, more challenges face utility companies than ever before. Weather events are more extreme, more diverse, and longer lasting.
For utilities without advanced outage prediction solutions, being caught off-guard by unexpected outages means they’re often behind the 8-ball in securing restoration contracts.
Many utilities are turning to data-driven weather intelligence to help them make agile, confident decisions. The right system can improve an organizations’ regional situational awareness, improve outage response times, and help secure restoration contracts ahead of the competition.
Navigating Climate Extremes
To put this in context, according to Climate.gov, the United States experienced 18 separate weather and climate disasters in 2022, each costing at least one billion dollars. The U.S., with its diverse climate, endures an especially broad range of temperatures, elements, and natural forces – creating real headaches for utility companies working hard to ensure grid resiliency.
The great news is technology is evolving fast to help with the problem. Weather intelligence combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can now produce the best predictive analysis available, helping utilities to proactively plan, prepare and respond to disruptions.
Leveraging Predictive Analysis
The benefits of using data-driven weather intelligence are numerous. Not only can it be used to shield assets and improve planning but also minimizes the duration and severity of energy outages. Minimizing disruption keeps customers happy and protects your reputation – and also helps avoid the potential regulatory penalties associated with ongoing outages.
One well-known utility company stated it had achieved a 10% reduction in its system average interruption duration index (SAIDI) by using predictive insights to mobilize contractors in the right places at the right times.
While not all utility companies possess the resources for an in-house data science team, external solutions are available and worth exploring.
Solutions like the DTN Storm Risk suite support even smaller companies in leveraging weather data to anticipate and prepare for adverse weather. The key is to look for a fully customizable solution that enables you to provide warnings and insights about precisely the areas you need.
For large-sized utilities, today’s Storm Risk solutions also include simple, direct API integration into existing tech platforms. The Storm Risk API lets utilities leverage reliable weather insights with higher flexibility and a more cost-effective approach.
APIs easily integrate into enterprise operational tools. And because information needs to be timely, accurate, and reliable, API delivery allows alerting engines to send notifications to key personnel whenever weather and/or power outage risks exceed agreed upon thresholds.
Proactively Addressing Energy Outages
A recent case study of Hurricane Ian demonstrated how advanced weather insights can streamline grid restoration efforts. While the hurricane’s path was inevitable, advanced knowledge of its potential impact enabled utility providers to strategically plan crew placement and request mutual assistance. Testing the DTN Storm Risk Analytics against Hurricane Ian revealed remarkable predictive accuracy, within 7% of the actual count nearly two days before landfall.
Whether grappling with hurricanes or heatwaves, accurate forecasting empowers utilities to proactively address weather-related challenges rather than waiting for the worst to happen. Companies capable of pinpointing where and when outages will occur gain a significant advantage, reducing power disruptions, business costs, and enhancing overall resilience, regulatory compliance, and reputation.
To delve deeper into how advanced weather intelligence can fortify grid resiliency and maintain reliable power, explore the offerings within the DTN Storm Risk suite of utility solutions. From full dashboard enablement to one-on-one Risk Communicators to simple API integrations, the journey from weather data to a robust action plan begins here.